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Nearly 168,000 emergency meal kits sent to Kentucky in the wake of an ice storm had been recalled more than two weeks earlier because some contained peanut butter that could have been contaminated by salmonella, federal officials said Thursday.


An apparent communication breakdown among federal officials allowed the kits to be sent to Kentucky to help feed hundreds of thousands of people left without power at the height of last week's storm. The storm also swept through Arkansas, but federal officials don't believe people there got the meal kits affected by the recall.

People were warned Thursday not to eat the peanut butter packets. No illnesses have been reported and recalls were ordered out of "an abundance of caution," said Jay Blanton, a spokesman for Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear.

The company that distributed the peanut butter packets used in the meals recalled them last month because of the salmonella outbreak suspected of sickening at least 575 people, eight of whom died. A Blakely, Ga., peanut-processing plant that produces a fraction of U.S. peanut products is being investigated in the outbreak.


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